In These Times We Could Use More Positive Stories of Those Challenging The System, Something The Media NEVER Touches (Especially When It Involves Socialism Taking Root In The Populace)
Hey there folks. Haven't had much time to get anything together here for a while, though I have loads of drafts sitting around. And don't anticipate that changing much for the near future, with this middle-aged father taking over full-time duties for two babies come the end of March.
But this morning as I toggled back and forth between here, my email inbox and clicking links from there to places like In These Times, it occurred to me that there was yet another opportunity for us here at C99. With the MSM having been so horrific for so long - and traditionally only in the business of spreading fear, propping up sensationalism and celebrity gossip, and dutifully trotting out the propaganda of their pay masters terrorizing the world from Wall St, Corporate America and the Auction House that is Our Government - it's got me thinking that there's probably a specific forum waiting to be carved out, one that focuses exclusively on dissenters, radicals and everyday people who are making a difference, on any level.
It seems to me there are always lots of great stories everywhere that no one is talking about on a macro level - because they're not backed by the Big Bucks needed to break through into the mainstream consciousness. That's where we can be of help to the little guy. Collect these stories in a repository, so that when someone wants to know what the opposition looks like, or where the hope is to be found, we can point somewhere that has enough of them to be convincing.
For example, my email inbox this morning is filled with invitations from Democratic Socialists of America (NYC). Events such as Lower Manhattan, Bronx/Upper Manhattan, Central and North Brooklyn branch meetings, as well a Tech Action Workshop, Introduction to Socialist Feminism reading discussion and a Labor & the 21st Century Shop meeting.
The email digest from In These Times (for which Kurt Vonnegut was a contributor) had these stories:
Behind the Explosion in Socialism Among American Teens (a story based in Tampa, FL, about "The dramatic growth of YDSA chapters confirms that millennials don’t think capitalism is working for them").
Former linebacker Colin Allred is hoping to take out Republican Rep. Pete Sessions by campaigning on Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage and automatic voter registration. But first, he will have to win the upcoming Democratic primary.
The network is fledgling, but growing. Since it launched in 2013, Solidaires, CGT and Conlutas have opened the network to anyone who adheres to its set of principles: a commitment to social-movement unionism and a broad anti-capitalist vision. Like its two prior conferences in Paris and in Campinas, Brazil, the 2018 version drew union activists from across the world, including those on the front lines of struggles against authoritarianism and repression. Among them were unionists from Algeria, Colombia, El Salvador and Mali, as well as the Tunisian General Labor Union, which won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, as part of a group of civil society organizations, for its role in the post-revolution transition.
Incidentally, just last night we took the kids one of the local libraries and checked out, King's final book called "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?" Which was written during a long period in isolation, living in a rented residence in Jamaica with no telephone, and encapsulated the crystallized vision of all his life's world that the triple evils of militarism, capitalism and racism were obstacles to freedom, liberty and justice.
There was this segment on the Jimmy Dore Show too, "Woman Dragged From Public Meeting For Exposing Corruption"
I also want to mention hearing a recording on Pacifica Radio's WBAI of Reverend Barber (of Moral Mondays) speaking. To my ears he was speaking some pretty powerful radical stuff about the intersection of class and race. Haven't heard much of him actually speaking and for some reason was inclined to think that he might just be a Dem partisan (remember that whole fiasco at TOP of those Neoliberal douchebags claiming a march of his was not to attended by canvassing Bernie supporters or something. Bernie campaign district manager Niko Case tells how the DNC sabotaged them).
At least in the segment I heard, I was impressed with his ability to go chopping at the root of the system rather than suggest lame Neoliberal fixes. He even seemed to vilify the Democratic Party's non-stance on economic issues, by mentioning how Trump was allowed to just lift Bernie's sincere fiery populist message and appeal to the disenfranchised, something the Dems failed to do.
I offer these even as I have become an unbeliever in the electoral system. To me they are at least examples of people moving in the right direction. And that matters.
It's the little stories not getting coverage that can make all the difference. How, you say? Inspiring others to do something similar. Lookout has talked about concentrating more on the local, CStMS and gulfgal have reminded us of the great outpouring of transformative solidarity and mutual aid at the heart of the Occupy movement.
Maybe there's a place for an Open Thread type of thing, in which we could cull all these stories in one place. Thing is, we all pretty much read the remaining news sites that we have determined over periods of time to be trustworthy, reliable and from a point of view that confronts the Powers The Be. But while these is lots of overlap there, each has one's own preferences of which others may have missed and that will probably furnish the applicable stories the rest of us missed. And then there's also the local stories and personal stories. We need them too, especially those.
I don't presume to offer this as a template of what could be done here at C99. There are so many more amazing stories of people rising up personally to shout out that they are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. But I just don't have the time.
There's a lot be gained, in terms of at the least momentum in our struggle going forward and keeping our sanity in such an increasingly fucked up world, that I personally would like to see more of these kids of stories.
If you've been inspired or captivated lately by stories of people trying to make a difference, please consider sharing.
Love from NYC...